The episode opens on Nanda Parbat as Ra’s Al Ghul is taking a bath in what I can only assume is his lazarus pit? Nyssa walks into his chambers and informs him hat Oliver Queen is still alive in Starling City. Ra’s of course already knows this information and knows that Oliver did not kill Sarah.
Oliver and Thea continue their training with Malcolm at the Arrow Cave. No matter what Thea and Oliver do, Malcolm always seems to win every sparring session. Malcolm tells Oliver that although he has been well trained with a bow, he will need to master the sword to defeat Ra’s. Thea expresses her continued displeasure of working with Malcolm, but she knows that both her and Oliver need Malcolm.
Diggle informs the Arrow gang that he’s turned Verdant/The Arrow cave into a fortress by fortifying the walls and utilizing different ARGUS security measures to keep them safe. Malcolm thanks “John”, which Diggle doesn’t take kindly. He says that his friends call him Dig and that Malcolm shouldn’t even be talking to him. Malcolm convinces Thea to leave her loft apartment, to which Oliver and Thea refuse. Laurel makes her way across the room to talk to Thea. She talks to Thea about Malcolm’s fighting style and how it reminds her of Sarah. Thea, uncomfortable at the truth of what happened to Sarah, walks away and tells Laurel that she needs to shower.
Oliver continues to practice his sword technique. Diggle wants to ask him a factor, but decides to hold off once he realizes that Oliver has not been sleeping. Oliver tells him that he will sleep once it is all over.
It’s Flash back time! Oliver undergoes a polygraph test by a solider. After his debriefing about what happened with the Alpha/Omega bio weapons, Oliver is excused by General Shrieve. Shrieve tells Oliver that the Army claimed jurisdiction. He tells Oliver that he and Maseo’s family may return home or go wherever they would like to.
Roy finds Thea sitting alone at the bar of Verdant. He sits with her and Thea reveals to him that she killed Sarah and cannot bear the grief. Roy shares the story about how he was under the influence when he killed a police officer. He promises her that it will get easier with time, but Thea says that she doesn’t know how it will get any easier.
Meanwhile, Ray Palmer furiously continues the work on his ATOM suit in his apartment. Felicity enters his apartment to make sure he’s alive, as he hasn’t been seen at Palmer Technologies in a week. Ray is sporting some stubble and shows signs of exhaustion. Felicity realizes that he is working with materials that could destroy the whole building that they are in. She calls him out for working too hard and begs for him to stop. He tells Felicity that after Brick’s assault on Starling, he’s determined to finish the suit and to never feel helpless again.
Laurel calls her father and leaves him a voicemail asking to talk to him about Sarah. She tells him that they shouldn’t face Sarah’s death alone and that they should be together to talk about it. Thea arrives at Laurel’s office and explains how Malcolm drugged her and that she killed Sarah under the influence of a suggestive drug. Laurel tells Thea that she understands and doesn’t blame her. The only thing Laurel doesn’t understand is why Thea continues to work with Malcolm even though he had her do something terrible. Laurel tells Thea that she needs to starting make her own decisions and make different choices.
Oliver continues his training at the Arrow Cave and is interrupted by Laurel. She recalls that she cannot remember Sarah’s smile. She plays dumb and makes a comment about not knowing who Sarah’s killer is. Oliver lies to her and says that they will find her killer. Laurel becomes upset and tells Oliver that she knows the truth, that Thea killed Sarah. Laurel is furious that Oliver continues to lie to her. Oliver tells her that he was protecting Thea as well as Laurel. Laurel cannot believe what she hears and says that “it’s hard to remember a time when I was actually in love with you.” Ouch!
Oliver visits Thea at her apartment and angrily scolds her for telling Laurel the truth. She tells Oliver that he sounds just like Malcolm. She tells Oliver that they aren’t in any danger anymore and that Malcolm is going to face justice. Oliver looks at her uneasy and asks what she has done.
Malcolm walks in an abandoned warehouse, which I can only guess is his “secret hideout”. He hears someone approach from behind him and quickly deduces that it is no one from the league of assassins. It turns out to be Laurel, decked out in her Canary gear. She attacks Malcolm who easily avoids and deflects her attacks. Laurel pulls a gun on him and before she can shoot, Nyssa and several league of assassins arrive. Malcolm fights Nyssa and is defeated. He is captured by the league and Nyssa tells Laurel that her sisters death is avenged.
Back at the Arrow Cave, Oliver confronts Laurel about what just took place. She tells the rest of the Arrow gang that Thea bargained Malcolm’s life in exchange for their safety. While everyone is worried that Malcolm will show Ra’s the video of Thea killing Sarah, Oliver knows that Malcolm will do no such thing. He will not do that to his own daughter. Oliver tells the gang that the wants to save Malcolm, which everyone cannot believe. If Malcolm is killed, it would weigh heavily on Thea and she wouldn’t be the same. Oliver believes that by saving Malcolm, he can save Thea’s soul.
In another flashback Oliver, Maseo, Tatsu and their son Aiko prepare to leave for home via a boat. They invite Oliver to stay with them, but Oliver tells them that they will have to come and visit America. As they walk the docks to the boat, Maseo notices a dockworker looking at them suspiciously. Maseo pulls to his gun and opens fire and a gun fight ensues.
Back in the present, a chained Malcolm is escorted to a helicopter by Nyssa and a group of assassins. Arrow arrives to stop Nyssa and the League from taking him. Both Nyssa and Arrow go one on one while the other assassins load malcolm onto the helicopter. Arrow manages to capture Nyssa but is unable to stop the helicopter from taking off.
Nyssa is imprisoned in a cage back at the Arrow Cave. Oliver knows that Ra’s will not trade Malcolm for Nyssa. He still finds Nyss useful though. Laurel cannot believe that Oliver is keeping her prisoner. Oliver tells everyone to leave the room, which causes everyone to think that he is going to torture her. Rather than torturing her, Nyssa gladly tells Oliver where Nanda Parbat is….because she believes that he will die there.
Oliver joins the rest of the group waiting upstairs in the club. He tells them he has discovered the location of Nanda Parbat. The group argues that if Oliver will surely die if he goes to Nanda Parbat again. Everyone tries to stop him, except Diggle who remains quiet. Diggle speaks up and tells everyone to leave him and Oliver alone. Diggle suggests that there is more going on than just trying to save Thea’s soul. Oliver of course denies and says that he’s doing it for Thea.
Ray keeps working on his ATOM suit but is unable to log into the Palmer Technologies server. Felicity arrives at his apartment and reveals that she has changed the password. She tells him that he can try to crack the password, which will take him approximately six hours. Or he could eat, shower and get some sleep. Ray agrees to the second option and decides to take a break.
Back at his home, Diggle looks over his daughter in her crib. Diggle tells Lyla that Oliver is going to Nanda Parbat. Lyla looks at John and knows that he wants to go help his friend. She tells him that the solider in him will not allow his friend to go at it alone. She knows that Diggle blamed himself for not joining Oliver on his first trek to Nanda Parbat. She encourages him to join Oliver but to return home safe. Diggle thanks Lyla and asks if he can borrow an ARGUS jet.
A chained Malcolm is brought before Ra’s al Ghul. He recalls a story about a magician/illusionist that he met centuries ago. He tells Malcolm that a magician can cheat many things, except death. This is probably the first time that we see Malcolm terrified and begging for his life. He offers to serve under Ra’s again and to prove himself. Ra’s tells Malcolm that he must answer for his crimes. Malcolm is then dragged away screaming.
Felicity walks around Ray’s apartment noticing his art collection. He emerges from the shower just wearing a towel. Ray tries holding a conversation but Felicity points out that he is pretty much naked. He apologizes and says that he feels so comfortable around her. and forgets that they work together. The immediately kiss. She apologizes and says that she made a mistake. Ray however says…no you didn’t, and continue to kiss again.
Oliver and Diggle eventually make it to Nanda Parbat. They take position outside of the fortress but are quickly spotted by some assassins. Both Diggle and Oliver take turns covering each others backs and advancing towards the fortress.
In yet another flashback, Maseo reveals that the men opening fire are from ARGUS. Waller is vengeful over being cast aside by the military. Oliver tells his family to board a delivery truck while he covers them.
Back at the Arrow Cave Laurel talks to Nyssa about Sarah. She reveals that hating Malcolm lets her hold onto a piece of Sarah. Nyssa shares a story about remembering Sarah’s laugh and the moment that she fell in love with her. This makes Laurel feel a little better and thanks Nyssa.
Oliver and Diggle make their way into the fortress and continue to take out more assassins. Oliver has a tracker on Malcolm so they can find him in the huge fortress. They eventually find him hanging over hot coals. Ouch! Malcolm weakly says something that Oliver cannot quite make out. He tells Oliver one word, “trap”. Suddenly a gate closes down behind them. Ra’s Al Ghoul and his assassins emerge and welcome them to Nanda Parbat. Uh oh….
Oliver and Diggle find themselves chained in a cell. Diggle tells him that he knows he’s not doing all of this for Thea. Oliver finally tells Diggle that all he can think about was his fall and how he is haunted by it. He couldn’t stand that someone beat him and almost killed him. Diggle tells Oliver that Ra’s got in his head. Diggle has been holding off asking Oliver a favor, he asks Oliver if he will be the best man at his wedding. He tells Oliver that when he lost his brother, he never expected to gain another on. Oliver accepts Diggle’s request.
Back in the flashback as everyone tries to make a run for the truck, Aiko gets separated from his parents. He takes cover with Oliver who are forced to run away.
Roy drives Thea to a house. He tells he the comes here when he feels bad. They watch a woman and her child get out of their car and go into their house. He tells Thea that this is the family of the cop he killed. He says how he has anonymously been giving them money, groceries and other gifts. He tells Thea that it makes him feel better and that it helps with the guilt. This still does not make Thea feel any better. She tells Roy that she’s afraid she’s a killer too like her father.
Back at Rays apartment, Ray lays in bed holding Felicity. He pops out of bed and in an act of inspiration, manages to finish his ATOM suit. He puts on the suit for the first time and takes flight from the top of the building. He flies around causing quite the ruckus, while Felicity sleeps through everything.
Thea goes to see the imprisoned Nyssa at the Arrow Cave. She tells her that she is the one who killed Sarah. Thea opens the cage door and gives Nyssa her sword. She tells her to take her revenge.
Oliver appears before Ra’s who points his sword at Oliver’s throat. Oliver tells Ra’s to kill him, but to spare Diggle’s life. Ra’s tells Oliver that he is impressed by him. He reveals that he does not want to kill Oliver, but that he wants him to take his place to become the next Ra’s Al Ghul and lead the League of Assassins.
I suppose we should have seen that coming at some point. In the comics Ra’s makes it known that he wants Bruce Wayne to take his place. Why? Because he proves himself worthy. Oliver proves himself to be worthy of Ra’s by simply returning from the dead and returning to the place where he was almost killed . We will be getting a lot of screen time between Oliver and Ra’s on the next episode. I will be interested to learn more about their interaction and more of Ra’s intentions. How will this effect Oliver moving forward? Will he buckle and decide that maybe he should be the next Ra’s Al Ghul? I assume Ra’s proposal will weigh on him as he wants to save Diggle and Malcolm (and Thea).
Also Ray taking flight in his newly created ATOM suit was truly badass. Did anyone else think….hmm this doesn’t remind me of Superman at all! I imagine he will be taking care of Starling while Oliver is in Nanda Parbat. Will there be a team up with Team Arrow? I suppose we will find out on March 18th.
Photos via IGN